JPS Foundation Signs MOU with The UWI Mona – $16M Sponsorship to support CAPE STEM Workshop

(Kingston September 4, 2023)    

The JPS Foundation and The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which will see the JPS Foundation providing support for UWI’s annual Workshops for students preparing to sit Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Exams (CAPE).  The workshops are designed to strengthen the performance of students pursuing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects. 

The sponsorship will total US$100,000 or approximately JM$16M over 5 years, and will facilitate a reduction in the workshop price to students, from potentially $5,000 to $1,500.  The price will be held at $1,500 for the next 5 years.   

The CAPE workshops allow high school students to access UWI labs, improve their knowledge base, and improve their preparation to sit the exams, particularly in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science, Geography and Math.  

JPS President & CEO, Steve Berberich, in his remarks at the signing ceremony, noted that STEM subjects are going to be pivotal to national development.  “STEM education is going to be critical for this great country to stay abreast of development, advance its economy and create jobs for its people,” he said.  He also noted that the CAPE sponsorship was a natural outgrowth of the JPS Foundation’s ongoing sponsorship of the CSEC Electrical exams.  This latter sponsorship has seen the Foundation paying for high school students to sit the CSEC Electrical exams for the past 7 years, at an overall cost of $10M. Over 3,000 students have benefitted from this initiative. 

Deputy Principal of the UWI, Mona, Dr. Tomlin Paul, in his remarks, highlighted the importance of academic-industry partnership.  This support, specifically for the Faculty of Science & Technology, will help to prepare Grade 12 and 13 students across the island.  The Workshops, he noted, typically reach up to 41% of the students sitting Physics and Chemistry.  The sessions are especially useful, he noted, where some schools may not have the laboratory facilities to support the Internal Assessment portion of the CAPE syllabus.  “This is also an important step,” he noted, in equipping students to meet matriculation requirements at our tertiary institutions in the important area of STEM education. Roughly 2,000 students per year, for the next 5 years, are expected to attend these Workshops – making it 10,000 students over the period.

In closing, Dr. Andre Coy, Associate Dean of External Engagement in the Faculty of Science & Technology, noted that the workshops will offer students an opportunity to interact with experienced mentors, faculty members, and industry experts who will guide them on their journey of exploration. 

The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, is in the top 2% of Universities in the World, and is among the top 1% of universities in the world, built in the last 100 years.  

The JPS Foundation is the outreach arm of the JPS, and is focused on science and technology education, the environment and youth development, impacting thousands of lives across the nation. 


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